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MANGGAGAWA NG KOMUNIKASYON SA PILIPINAS v.

PHILIPPINE LONG DISTANCE


TELEPHONE COMPANY MKP filed a petition for certiorari before the CA, challenging the SOLE’s Order insofar
April 19, 2017 | Leonen, J. as it created a distinction among the striking workers.
 CA granted the petition, nullifying SOLE’s Order.
June 27, 2002. Manggagawa ng Komunikasyon sa Pilipinas, which represented the  July 14, 2005. PLDT appealed to the SC. SC upheld the CA decision and
employees of PLDTC filed a notice of strike with the National Conciliation and directed PLDT to readmit all striking workers based on Article 263(g)
Mediation Board.
 It charged PLDT with ULP for transferring several employees of its Oct 28, 2005. NLRC dismissed MKP’s charges of ULP.
Provisioning Support Division to Bicutan.  PLDT’s redundancy program was valid and did not constitute ULP. The
 MKP accused PLDT of the following ULP: redundancy program was due to the decline of subscribers for long distance
1. PLDT's abolition of the Provisioning Support Division. Such action, calls and to fixed line services produced by technological advances in the
together with the consequent redundancy of PSD employees and communications industry. As such, the termination due to redundancy was
the farming out of the jobs to casuals and contractuals, violates the legal.
duty to bargain collectively with MKP in good faith.
On appeal before the CA, the CA upheld the validity of PLDT’s redundancy program.
2. PLDT's unreasonable refusal to honor its commitment before this  CA found that the declaration of redundancy was justified and valid as it
Honorable Office that it will provide MKP its comprehensive planls was based on substantial evidence. PLDT also successfully redeployed 180
with respect to personnel downsizing/ reorganization and closure of the 503 affected employees to other positions.
of exchanges. Such refusal violates its duty to bargain collectively
with MKP in good faith. ISSUE
WON CA committed grave abuse of discretion in upholding the validity of PLDT’s
3. PLDT's continued hiring of "contractual," "temporary," "project," 2002 redundancy program – NO
and "casual" employees for regular jobs performed by union
members, resulting in the decimation of the union membership MKP: employees in the Provisioning Support Division (35 positions) and in the
and in the denial of the right to self-organization to the concerned Operator Services Section (503) had their positions declared redundant in 2002. It
employees. maintains that PLDT failed to submit evidence in support of its declaration of
redundancy of the 35 rank and file employees in the Provisioning Support Division. It
MKP filed another notice of strike and also accusing PLDT of ULP. PLDT’s alleged claimed that "[Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company] only notified [the
restructuring of its Operation Services and its closure of traffic operations unjustly Department of Labor and Employment] of the 'closure of traffic operations at
imperil the job security of 503 of MKP’s members and will substantially decimate the Regional Operator Services affecting three hundred ninety-two (392) employees and
parties’ bargaining unit. the restructuring of [Greater Metropolitan Manila] Operator Services affecting one
hundred eleven (111) employees.'"
Dec 31, 2002. PLDT declared only 323 employees as redundant as it was able to  No notice was given regarding the closure of the Provisioning Support
redeploy 180 of the 503 affected employees to other positions. Division and the termination of employment due to redundancy. The
justifications for redundancy only pertained to the affected operator
The SOLE certified the labor dispute for compulsory arbitration, enjoining the strike services positions.
staged by the Union and ordering the striking workers to return to work except for
those terminated due to redundancy.
PLDT: the validity of redundancy of the affected Provisioning Support Division (1) written notice served on both the employees and the Department of Labor
employees was only raised by MKP for the first time on appeal. The real issue was and Employment at least one month prior to the intended date of retrenchment;
whether PLDT was obligated to transfer the affected Provisioning Support Division (2) payment of separation pay equivalent to at least one month pay or at least
employees and not whether their redundancies were valid. Philippine Long Distance one month pay for every year of service, whichever is higher;
Telephone Company maintains that the affected Provisioning Support Division (3) good faith in abolishing the redundant positions; and
personnel were given the opportunity to apply for another division, yet they chose (4) fair and reasonable criteria in ascertaining what positions are to be declared
not to. redundant and accordingly abolished.

SC: Redundancy is one of the authorized causes for the termination of employment To establish good faith, the company must provide substantial proof that the
provided for in Article 298 of the Labor Code.1 services of the employees are in excess of what is required of the company, and that
fair and reasonable criteria were used to determine the redundant positions.
Wiltshire File Co. Inc. v. National Labor Relations Commission has explained that
redundancy exists when "the services of an employee are in excess of what is In order to prove the validity of its redundancy program, Philippine Long Distance
reasonably demanded by the actual requirements of the enterprise." Telephone Company has presented data on the decreasing volume of the received
calls by the Operator Services Center for the years 1996 to 2002.2
While a declaration of redundancy is ultimately a management decision in exercising
its business judgment, and the employer is not obligated to keep in its payroll more Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company has stated that from 1996 to 2002, the
employees than are needed for its day to-day operations, management must not total demand of calls dropped by 334,972,997 or a 72% reduction. It has attributed
violate the law nor declare redundancy without sufficient basis. the reduction of demand for operatorassisted 108/109 calls to "migration calls to
direct distance dialing," and to "more usage/substitution of text message over
Asian Alcohol Corporation v. National Labor Relations Commission listed down the voice." It has added that "migration of calls from landline to cell," competitors' eating
elements for the valid implementation of a redundancy program: into the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company's market, and "compliance
with the regulatory requirement of local integration per province" likewise
For the implementation of a redundancy program to be valid, the employer must aggravated the situation.
comply with the following requisites:
NLRC has found that Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company was able to

1 considered one (1) whole year.


Article 298. Closure of Establishment and Reduction of Personnel. -The employer may also
terminate the employment of any employee due to the installation of labor-saving devices, 2

redundancy, retrenchment to prevent losses or the closing or cessation of operation of the RECEIVED CALLS
establishment or undertaking unless the closing is for the purpose of circumventing the YEAR 108 109 TOTAL
provisions of this Title, by serving a written notice on the workers and the Ministry of Labor 1996 33,641,751 430,125,633 463,767,384
and Employment at least one (1) month before the intended date thereof. In case of
1997 34,834,800 318,942,573 353,777,373
termination due to the installation of labor-saving devices or redundancy, the worker affected
thereby shall be entitled to a separation pay equivalent to at least his one (1) month pay or to 1998 28,651,703 209,458,041 238,109,744
at least one (1) month pay for every year of service, whichever is higher. In case of 1999 24,797,870 212,363,846 237,161,716
retrenchment to prevent losses and in cases of closures or cessation of operations of 2000 21,697,367 218,380,277 240,077,644
establishment or undertaking not due to serious business losses or financial reverses, the 2001 15,773,988 158,310,276 174,084,264
separation pay shall be equivalent to one (1) month pay or at least one-half (112) month pay 2002 14,363,918 114,430,469 128,794,387
for every year of service, whichever is higher. A fraction of at least six (6) months shall be
discharge its burden of proving that its redundancy measures had substantial basis: 2. 175% of basic monthly pay for every year of service for employees who had been
with PLDT for less than 15 years.
For one, PLDT experienced a decline of subscribers, long distance calls, operated
both local and abroad, has declined, landline or fixed line services also declined. PLDT claims that the terminated workers received a generous separation package of
This decrease of the need of PLDT services resulted from the advent of wireless about 2.75 months' worth of salary for every year of service. But it seems that the
telephone, of texting as means of communication, the use of direct dialing retirement benefits of the terminated workers were added to the separation pay due
measures introduced in the communication services. For another, PLDT has a them, hence the large payout, which should not be the case. The facts show that
debt burden of P70 billion pesos and it cannot subsidize the salaries of instead of the legally required one (1) month salary for every year of service
employees whose positions are redundant. rendered, the terminated workers who were with Philippine Long Distance
Telephone Company for more than 15 years received a separation pay of only 75% of
SC affirms the NLRC and CA decision. their basic pay for every year of service, despite the clear wording of the law.

PLDT’s declaration of redundancy was backed by substantial evidence showing a The workers, who were terminated from employment as a result of redundancy, are
consistent decline for operator-assisted calls for both local and international calls entitled to the separation pay due them under the law.
because of cheaper alternatives like direct dialing services, and the growth of
wireless communication. Thus, the NLRC did not commit grave abuse of discretion
when it upheld the validity of PLDT's redundancy program. Redundancy is ultimately
a management prerogative, and the wisdom or soundness of such business
judgment is not subject to discretionary review by labor tribunals or even this Court,
as long as the law was followed and malicious or arbitrary action was not shown.

PETITION IS PARTIALLY GRANTED.

RE: Redundancy package awarded.


For either redundancy or retrenchment, the law requires that the employer give
separation pay equivalent to at least 1 month pay of the affected employee or at
least 1 month pay for every year of service, whichever is higher. The employer must
also serve a written notice on both the employees and the Department of Labor and
Employment at least one (1) month before the effective date of termination due to
redundancy or retrenchment.

Although PLDT complied with the notice requirement, it failed to comply with the
proper payment of the separation pay.

The notice of termination of employment provided 2 types of separation packages


for the terminated workers:
1. regular retirement benefits + 75% basic monthly pay for every year of service for
employees who had been with the PLDT for more than 15 years